I have only run three marathons (spaced over ten years), but if you consider that during those same ten years I have also spent 45 months preparing each of these five for the world:
And if you then consider that those pregnancies have also meant countless months of nursing, waking up at nights, and simply trying to find care for them each and EVERY time I want to run, well, then that is fairly impressive.
I have a new goal in mind. It was Mike's idea initially because, while he can't be home as much as I'd like to make running opportunities for me, he is always very supportive. I want to run the Boston Marathon next Spring. Do you know how exciting that would be for me? There are over 20,000 runners. It is hard to explain the excitement in the air at any race, especially a marathon, but to run one that is kind of considered THEE marathon and to be able to have other runners around me the entire race and the roads lined with people for most of the 26.2 miles would be seriously such an amazing experience for me. I would love it. Still, I likely never would have considered it if it weren't for the fact that Mike's parent's are serving a mission in Boston. This would give us the perfect chance to visit them and give me the perfect opportunity to make something so big actually work.
The only catch is, I will need to qualify. I have beat the time necessary to qualify by a full ten minutes in the past, but times are only good for a year, and while I assume I can do it fine again, I've never had a "bad" marathon, and over 26 miles, even a 20 second slow down per mile could ruin my chances. Still, I am planning to run the Top of Utah Marathon this September in hopes that it will be sending me to Boston!
The difficulty, more than running the qualifying time, will be the training. It is frustrating to me because while some people have the time to run, but lack the motivation, I WANT to be running, but seldom have a great opportunity. Obviously I will simply have to make the opportunities, but it won't be easy. It will mean figuring how to go at 5:45 am when I am still up at night with a four month old -- a four month old that often ends up in bed with me during the night and who wakes up the minute I try to pull away from him. It will mean running at nights when the kids are down and Mike is finally home. I love love raising my kids, but those few precious hours from 8:00 pm on are my only time to be with Mike and relax, so giving up some of those hours isn't going to be easy. If I could just run at 7:00 each morning or drop the kids at school and run, it would be so simple for me, and I admit to feeling rather jealous of those who don't have to juggle so much to be able to get out. But I have chosen to have these loads of little people surrounding me. They are my responsibility and my most precious of all things.
So, here is to hoping and hoping my motivation and the fates will align to make this work. Heaven knows it won't be long before I feel that there is another little spirit looking down saying, "Hey, what about me!? I know you are stressed, but I am planning on being yours too." So, if I could just have this year to reclaim my body even just a little bit, to run two marathons in a year (one of them being such an exciting one), and to find the ways to train as hard as I'd like (I'm hoping for five days a week), I will feel so so grateful and blessed. I just want this really badly. I'm gearing up mentally because if I am serious, my training needs to start in May. The running itself isn't what I have to gear up for, it is finding the motivation to do it at very inconvenient and awkward times that I need to be able to handle. I love my kids more than anything in this universe other than Mike, but if I could just have this one me thing work out I will cry with happiness.